Thursday, January 31, 2013
A new norovirus strain was detected last year in Australia and has reached the United States.
Although the flu is on everyone’s minds this season, the winter vomiting bug, or the norovirus, is also making its rounds. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the norovirus causes about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths each year, mostly in young children and the elderly. Some of the virus' common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains. The CDC points out that the norovirus is often referred to as the stomach flu, but it is unrelated to influenza. “The norovirus, which many people call the stomach flu, is widespread this year,” said Katinka Podmaniczky, assistant director of communications for the Boston Public Health Commission. “We encourage everyone to take simple …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
While seasonal influenza remains the city's main health issue, officials say the stomach bug is widespread right now, too.
The Boston area is seeing more than just the flu this time of year. The “winter vomiting bug,” or norovirus, is making its rounds as well. “The norovirus, which many people call the stomach flu, is widespread this year,” said Katinka Podmaniczky, assistant director of communications for the Boston Public Health Commission. “We encourage everyone to take simple precautions to protect themselves and others, like washing hands frequently and staying home if you feel sick.” In Boston, right now about 2.5 percent of all emergency room visits are related to accute gastrointenstinal problems, which may or may not be caused by a norovirus, according to a Health Commission report. This time last year, that number was just over 3 percent. The …
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Boston's seen a ten-fold increase in flu cases over last year.
Mayor Thomas Menino declared a health emergency on Wednesday morning due to Boston's flu outbreak. There have been more than 700 reported cases in the city so far this flu season, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. That's 10 times the average number of cases through the entire last year. “This is the worst flu season we’ve seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously,” Mayor Menino said. “This is not only a health concern, but also an economic concern for families, and I’m urging residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. It’s the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family. If you’re sick, please stay home from work or school.” Flu cases now account for over 4 percent of …
Outbreaks are peaking earlier than normal in the area.
Wednesday, January 9
The Red Cross said there's still time for folks to get flu shots and be covered from what is considered to be a more active flu season. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said flu outbreaks are high for this time of the season, with "widespread activity" in Massachusetts. In Boston this year, there have been 700 confirmed flu cases, and 4 deaths. Last year, the city only had 70 confirmed cases. How do you prevent the flu? According to the CDC, in addition to getting the vaccine, you can: How do you know if you have the virus? Symptoms include: high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea (which is more common in children). When should you call the…